Attack on Titan is one of this year's biggest anime. Originally a manga, Attack on Titan has also turned its creator Hajime Isayama into a celebrity. And a target of death threats -- a frightening number of them.
Last Friday, a commenter on Isayama's official blog wrote, "On June 29, I'm going to beat Hajime Isayama to death with a blunt instrument! I'm totally going to kill him!"
"I won't get caught," the comment continued, "because the Japanese police are incompetent!" The threats were copied and pasted repeatedly in the same comment.
Other threats were also copied and pasted in mindboggling numbers (apparently, over a thousand times) throughout the Attack on Titan creator's blog. One asked which was better: Beating Isayama to death or burning down his house. Another read, "Go to hell! Dirty Isayama! Die! You idiot!" Etc, etc.
Japanese site Yokoku was quick to point out that the threats did not seem like they were written by a native Japanese speaker and appeared to use translation software. Some of the words were incorrect or just plain wrong. Even if you cannot read Japanese, you can see here how the same threats appear reposted over and over again.
As previously mentioned, one of the threats used the term "Japanese police", which makes it seem like the comment was written by a foreigner. And it's possible one individual wrote all the threats.
Online, there's speculation that the reason for the death threats is that Attack on Titan character Dot Pixis was modelled after Yoshifuru Akiyama, a general in the Imperial Japanese Army.
Courtesy of Twitter user Paul Guo, this is how Yoshifuru Akiyama compares to Dot Pixis' manga and anime versions.
Back in 2010, Isayama admitted that Dot Pixis was based on the military leader. That revelation caused a flurry of recent comments on Isayama's 2010 post. Those comments were made last month. Most are in English, but there are also Korean and English comments protesting Akiyama as well as defending him.
The controversy appears to be opening old wounds between Japan and other Asian nations, especially South Korea, where Attack on Titan has a hardcore following. That being said, it's important to note that it is unconfirmed where the threats are from, who is making them, and why they are making them.
Here is a look at those recent English language comments on Isayama's blog about the general. They should help explain why some are angered about Dot Pixis being modelled after Yoshifuru Akiyama. Note that Kotaku did not alter or correct the syntax.
I just feel so angry, when I see the words from the author. Undoubtly, "秋山" [Eds note: "Akiyama"] is a war criminal, a intruder who has deeply hurted chinese and korean, killed thousands of innocent people in the invasion of China and Korea!!! For me, these words are unforgivable.
Yoshifuru Akiyama died in 1930. He has died before World War II, there is no relation at all with World War II. Akiyama is not a war criminal. Pointed out that the Korean people's misunderstanding.
If you don't know anything about "the Port Arthur Massacre", please read the Japanese wiki. In your own language, written by your own people.
For more than four days, innocent civilians were cold-blooded killed.
Akiyama Yoshifuru was there when the massacre happened.
He may not be a war criminal, and he may not be involved in the massacre.
However, when his colleague committed this crime, he just stood there and did nothing.
Which, makes him, a accomplice.
Do you still think he is your hero?
There was no concept of "prisoners of war" in China soldiers of the Sino-Japanese War at the time. They were exterminated the Japanese soldier was caught, and if they were caught by the Japanese military, they were thought to be killed and in the same way. From such an idea, they take off the uniform, was continued resistance desperately under cover to the public.
Look at the Japanese army to wipe out the straggler of the Qing army of the guerrilla, foreign media were reported as Port Arthur massacre.
Chinese soldiers were often of guerrilla in World War II. For charges and the name of the war criminals, see the record of the Tokyo trial.
Wrote I Don't Argue with Prejudiced Talk:
Yoshifuru Akiyama is not a invaders for Korea and not a war criminal. If you're referred to as "invaders" the department was assigned him, when compared to current, USFK would supposed to be "invaders".
Russo-Japanese War is a battle of Japan and Russia.
See also Treaty of Shimonoseki for the independence of Korea. There is no exact data about the Treaty of Shimonoseki in Korea probably. The document exists in Japan and China.
It seems like a message board somewhere picked up this 2010 blog post and fired up an online frenzy, leading to Isayama getting spammed with death threats.